The saga surrounding the sale of the Nortel patents purchase is finally coming to an end.

Judges in the US have given Apple, Microsoft, Sony and RIM along with two other leading tech companies (EMC Corp and Ericsson) approval to acquire the patents from Nortel Networks Corp.

A total of approximately 6,000 patents have been acquired for a total of $4.5 billion.

Google had previously gained approval from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to move ahead with its $900 million bid for Nortel patents, joined soon after by Apple and Intel. Intel and Google were noticeably absent from the six winners listed by Nortel in its sale, suggesting that both companies were not willing to increase bids for the technologies above the $4.5 billion or did not want to enter a consortium that included rivals Microsoft, RIM and Apple.

Nortel, a multinational telecommunications equipment manufacturer headquartered in Toronto, filed for bankruptcy in January 2009. The patents and patent application are the the last major asset of Nortel, encompassing technologies such as wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, Internet, and semiconductors.

Wondering what all the fuss is about? Read this.